Turks Bats Come Alive in 11-7 Victory over Braves

Written by Bennett Conlin
Broadcasting Intern

Harrisonburg, VA.   Trailing 4-0 heading to the bottom of the sixth, the story remained the same for the Harrisonburg Turks. Returning players Bryan Arias and Greg Popatak were struggling, and Turks fans were eagerly awaiting the awakening of the powerful bats in the Turks’ lineup. Well as the saying goes, the best things in life are worth waiting for.

The timeless expression rang true as the Turks exploded for nine runs in the sixth inning to break the game wide open in a 11-7 victory over the Staunton Braves. 13 batters came to the plate as the Turks tallied six hits and used three costly Staunton errors to keep the scoreboard operator busy.

Among those who put together quality at-bats in the inning were Arias and Popatak. Arias slapped a go-ahead, two-run single to center field with the bases loaded to hand the Turks a 5-4 lead they’d never relinquish. While Arias’ base hit gave Turks fans something to cheer about, Popatak kept the fans on their feet throughout the night. The George Mason product went 2-2 in the sixth inning with a single and an RBI double. The lefty took both balls to left field.

After keeping the ball in the park with a couple of opposite field hits, Popatak decided he’d had enough of that in the bottom of the eighth. On a 1-2 offering with Zach Kuchmaner on first, Popatak launched a no-doubt home run over the right field fence to give Harrisonburg an 11-5 lead. Popatak entered the season 1-14, but ended the night 3-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored.

On the hill, newcomer Hunter Seay earned the victory in relief. Seay, a Baylor Bear, threw 2 ⅔ innings, while allowing just one hit and striking out four. Tucker McCoy got the start on the mound and threw 4 ⅓ innings, while allowing four runs (two earned) and fanning four.

While the pitching had its moments, the offensive firepower from the Turks was clearly the story of the night as seven different players recorded hits and four of those seven had multi-hit games.

The Turks will be off on Sunday before traveling to Woodstock on Monday for a 7 p.m. contest with the River Bandits. Harrisonburg will return home on Wednesday against Waynesboro after a Tuesday bout with Purcellville.

Per usual, if you can’t make it out to Wednesday’s home game, head to Harrisonburgturks.com and click on “Listen Live” to hear the webcast. Dave Norman and Bennett Conlin will be on the call.